Turkish Court Lifts Ban On Twitter!

Turkish deputy prime minister says Turkish government will accept court decision to lift Twitter ban

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by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

Last week, we reported on how Turkey’s attempt to silence government critics by blocking Twitter backfired spectacularly, with many users finding ways to circumnavigate the ban. Well, now those censorship attempts have been completely thwarted because a local court has ordered the Twitter block to be lifted. Hurrah!

Turkish Twitter users expected to regain access to their online accounts shortly after the Ankara court ordered a stay of execution on last week’s decision to authorise the ban. However, some reports suggest it could be weeks before it takes effect, and service is restored.

In his first official comment, Turkish deputy prime minister Bülent Arinç said, ‘We will implement the court’s decision. We might not like the court decision, but we will carry it out.’

Access to Twitter was restricted last week when prime minister Recap Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to ‘root out’ the social media network because of information, including wiretapped recordings, leaked via the social-networking site went viral and threatened to tarnish the government’s reputation ahead of local elections. However, many users found ways to get round the block – in fact, there was no real drop off in Twitter activity in the region.

The block, which was enforced just before local elections, sparked national and international outrage from human rights organisations, the EU, the US government and the UN. In a TV interview on Tuesday, the prime minister defended the decision, saying, ‘If the issues are not dealt with, we’ll close the site down. If [Twitter] abides by the blockage, we will lift the ban. We are not against the use of advanced technology, but unlawful use of it is not acceptable.’

However, commentators are pointing out that this is only a temporary injunction before the court delivers its final verdict, so the ban still hasn’t been permanently lifted.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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